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Tools for Improving UX: IL2011 Session Summary

October 18, 2011

First session after lunch is “Tools for Improving UX” with Jezmynee Dene (Porneuf District Library), Amy Vecchione (Boise State University), and Nate Hill (San Jose Public Library). This session is about Google Apps and is a nice overview if you are thinking about implementing Google Apps in your library. Let’s get started!

Google Apps at Portneuf District Library
Starting with Jezmynne Dene, Director at Portneuf District Library, who will be talking about Google Apps. Portneuf is a small library and needed something super-simple, thus using Google Apps.

Steps: Purchased domain for library, then got Google Apps account. Very simple to set-up and very simple interface for working the Google Apps.

Google Apps is perfect for the Portneuf Distrcit Library because it is simple to set-up, has the features needed, great for collaboration, and can be used on the public side of the library’s website. [Sidenote: I was so excited when my university went to Gmail and Google Apps. They make my work, especially in committees, so much easier.]

Google Apps at Albertsons Library
By Amy Vecchione at Boise State

Talking about using Google Apps at Boise State. Using Google Calendar for scheduling reference desk, classrooms, and equipment. [I like the idea of reserving equipment through Google Calendar.] Can also use the “Find a Time” feature via Google Calendar to find a time to meet instead of using Doodle.

Mobile integration is one of the reason that Amy likes Google Apps. The sync feature is great.

Use Google Forms a lot with students to schedule workshops. It is always great for tracking who is attending websites and also for tailoring workshops based on who is coming (based on disciplines).

Google sites helpful for fostering community and for working groups.

Interface Design
by Nate Hill at San Jose Public Library

Talking about perception on images for design and a project he is working on in order to get feedback (new, possible iteration of the website).

Size matters. By assigning different sizes to images and fonts, you declare what is important in the design or on the website. Adding information changes the perception of images. Notice the size of things, the color of things, and text (labels). Text/labels are the last thing noticed on a website.

Images work with one another and people will make associations among the images shown.

Need to think about the “big picture stuff” and how the user sees the website holistically.

Nate showed the San Jose Public Library’s website. It is a very functional website. If you know what you want, it works very well. But may not work as well for browsing. Thinking about separating out “informal content” into an “Interests” portal. Trying to get back the browsability of the website. Thinking about using a toggle at the bottom of the page. Interest channels would have multimedia content (from social media sites, blogs, etc.).

Takeaway
Google Apps is a wonderful set of tools for libraries of all sizes. [I personally adore Google Calendars, especially for sharing a group calendar.]

Thinking about the website as a whole is very important in design. Don’t just get caught up in the details, look at the whole.

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